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Tribal warlord threatens Pakistan army

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS

Islamabad : Tribal warlord Baitullah Mahsud has warned the Pakistani government that it faces retaliation from terrorists if it continues military action against people living in tribal areas.

In a message to different media organisations, Mahsud said many people were being forced to migrate from tribal areas as the army was killing innocent people.

Mahsud, who is believed to be behind former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, said that security forces have also arrested women in some tribal areas.

“We will consider this act an attack on our pride and may retaliate if the security forces continue with it,” said the warlord who has close links with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Reports said five security personnel were killed and seven injured in a clash with militants near the Afghanistan border.

The militants launched a pre-dawn attack on a military post in Ladha village in South Waziristan where Mahsud is said to be hiding.

“Security forces retaliated with fire causing heavy casualties on miscreants,” said a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“The attack was beaten back, but the exact number of miscreant casualties could not be ascertained,” it added.

Last week Pakistani troops killed about 90 militants in fierce clashes in Mahsud’s stronghold of South Waziristan.